NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – If Gov. Chris Christie had it his way he would dissolve municipal police departments and create new countywide forces – one in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties.
“I don’t even know that the bigger cities would have to be an exception, you could just have part of the regional police force be a district that’s dedicated to that city,” Christie told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg in an exclusive interview. “I don’t think there’s any reason why it can’t work.”
Gov. Chris Christie speaks exclusively with 1010 WINS reporter Steve Sandberg
“Fear is the biggest roadblock of people giving something up,” Christie said. “What they also need to understand is if they don’t want to give something up then their taxes are going to continue to go up.”
Along with dissolving the 500-plus local police units, Christie wants to consolidate fire departments.
“It’s just too expensive and it doesn’t necessarily contribute to public safety to have all that brass,” Christie said. “Part of the cost you got to talk about here too is equipment – every municipality buying these big, expensive fire trucks that some of them may not be used all that often, let’s regionalize that as well.”
Camden, Somerset and Morris counties are considering the change.
“I’m not saying that every municipality has to make this choice, but then if they don’t they lose their right to complain,” Christie said.
Christie spoke with Sandberg following a town hall meeting in Nutley Thursday morning on the makeover of the Xanadu complex.
He also commented on a recent poll conducted by Zogby Interactive where he gained the most support from Republicans in a hypothetical field of candidates who would beat President Barack Obama.
“When they’re saying they prefer me for some other job they’re not saying that they prefer me as a person, they don’t know me as a person, what they prefer are the policies that we’re pursuing and implementing here in New Jersey,” Christie said.
The Garden State governor wonders why he continues to be included in polls regarding a presidential run since he has repeatedly insisted that he’s not running.
“That’s good for New Jersey that we’re getting that kind of positive attention around the country, so as long as it continues, despite my protests to the contrary, I’m going to make sure that we use it the best way we can for New Jersey,” Christie.